This Second Edition of The Tao of Statistics: A Path to Understanding (With No Math) provides a reader-friendly approach to statistics in plain English. Unlike other statistics books, this text explains what statistics mean and how they are used, rather than how to calculate them. The book walks readers through basic concepts as well as some of the most complex statistical models in use. The Second Edition adds coverage of big data to better address its impact on p-values and other key concepts; material on small data to show readers how to handle data with fewer data points than optimal; and other new topics like missing data and effect sizes. The book’s two characters (a high school principal and a director of public health) return in the revised edition, with their examples expanded and updated with reference to contemporary concerns in the fields of education and health.

Median

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  • Medians play the center
  • Insensitive
  • Unmoved

Medians are rarely used by choice. They are simply the point where half the values are larger and half are smaller. Needing only an ordinal level of measurement, they are a good choice for perception scales and for highly skewed data.

Medians are often paired with other information about the distribution—percentiles (hundredths) of the distribution. The 50th percentile is the point where 50% of the scores are below it and 50% are above it—the median. Often, the 5th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th percentiles are shown as a way to characterize an ordinal distribution. Surprisingly, interval and ratio data also are characterized this way in many settings, even though other statistics exist to describe such data. This appeal is known ...

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